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Essay/Term paper: Menschenschreck

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Humanities: Menschenschreck, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

"If the international financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in

plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be

the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the

annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

- Adolf Hitler- Jan 30, 1939

When the Nazi party came to power in January of 1933, it almost

immediately began to take hostile measures toward the Jewish people. The

government passed special legislation that excluded Jews from the protection

of German law. The property of Jews was then legally seized, and

concentration camps were set up in which Jews were executed, tortured, or

condemned to slave labor. The Nazis organized sporadic and local massacres

which occurred in a nationwide program in 1938. After the outbreak of World

War II anti-Semitic activity increased dramatically. By the end of the war,

millions of Jews and others targeted by the Nazis, had been killed in the

Holocaust. The Jewish dead numbered more than 5 million: about 3 million in

killing centers and other camps, 1.4 million in shooting operations, and more

than 600,000 in Polish ghettos. Who were the men that carried out these

terrible murders? One would think them to be savage killers specially

selected for their history of brutality and violence. But, in fact, these

men were typically normal middle-aged business men. How could these

ordinary men be influenced in such a way to allow them to commit such

atrocities? The governmental policies, pressures of comrades and individual

behaviors helped to transform these men into the mass murderers of European

Jews that they soon became.

The government and the military were very important to the transformation of

these men. The men of the battalions were often told how the German race was

the greatest on earth. Their commanding officers continually reminded them

that as Germans they had to be strong and ruthless. They were told to

project an image of superiority and not to show any mercy on the inferior

Jewish race. Anti-Semitism was practiced throughout the government and

military. One policy the government continually reinforced was that that the

Jews were not even humans. The Jews were often referred to as "wild animals"

and given no respect. Some commanders of the Order Police encouraged

shooting blindly into the ghettos to try to shoot down Jews for sport.

Company recreation rooms were commonly decorated with racist slogans and

victory celebrations were often held when large numbers of Jews were killed.

The military units held weekly "class" in which they taught "ideological

propaganda" that would use literature such as pamphlets entitled "SS Man and

The Question of Blood" and "The Politics of Race." These classes furthered

the idea that the Jews were nothing but a troublesome inferior race. They

were taught how to kill their victims so that they would die quickly and

suffer little. The government also issued such laws as the Barbarossa decree

which gave the order police a varitable "shooting license" against the

Russians. The Order police were told that they were in a war against the Jews

and the Bolsheviks and they "should proceed ruthlessly against the Jews."

The Order police "should be proud to be participating in the defeat of the

world enemy, Bolshevism. The soldiers were continually reminded of how the

women and children in Germany were being bombed and how the Jews instigated

the American boycott which was destroying Germany"s economy. If the soldiers

were searching career advancement in the Police force. If this was the case,

"orders are orders", and the soldier would comply with the orders of their

superiors. Through these ideas presented by the institutions of government

and military the Order Police became a strong killing machine.

The comrades of an individual soldier had a profound influence on the

transformation from normal citizen to murderer. Although this influence may

have been unintentional it was still a major factor. Peer pressure"s a

bitch. The pressure to conform to the job at hand was great in these small

tightly knit battalions. By not shooting, an individual would not be doing

his part in an already unpleasant task. Stepping out would make the rest of

the battalion believe that the soldier thought himself to be "too good" for

such tasks. The mission had to be accomplished with or without him.

Policemen who did not shoot were often isolated, rejected and ostracized by

their comrades. The policemen had nowhere else to turn for mental support

and societal contact besides his comrades. He would not want to jeopardize

this over the simple matter of killing mere "wild animals." Another way the

men in the battalions were able to kill the Jews was that they were supplied

with rations of alcohol. They were drunk for many of the killings. One of

the soldiers was quoted as saying "Most of the other comrades drank so much

solely because of the many shootings of the Jews, for such a life was quite

intolerable sober."

The individuals personal justifications helped to change the behavior of the

soldiers. Many of the soldiers tried to prove to themselves that what they

were doing was right. They justified their actions with such comments as

"They are destroying Germany." It soon became policy for the policemen to

kill the Jews. It was a daily ritual for the Police to slaughter thousands

of Jews everyday. They genuinely thought that they were helping the world by

relieving it of the waste of society, the Jews.

By the end of the war the soldiers of the Order Police had become mass

killers of the European Jews. The Order Police had effectively dehumanized

the Jews and for many of the soldiers murder was daily practice. In fact,

some of the soldiers came to enjoy it. They would try and come up with any

excuse to beat or shoot a Jew. Some of the soldiers would set their watches

ahead so as to beat Jews out after the curfew. They would also rip the Star

of David off the Jews clothing and then beat the Jew for not wearing it. The

killing of jews became so routine that it was oftenly refered to as "Our

Daily Bread" by some of the more "eager killers."

The Government and military, comrades and personal justifications placed

upon the Order Police of World War Two turned them into the largest mass

murders of all time. In total approximatly six million jews were masacured

by these so-called "ordinary men."


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